“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
— Bill Gates
Comment: Similarly, to find the best ideas on what's wrong with America, look for the citizens most unhappy with it.
The collapse of the U.S. economy: inevitable unless we do this
American might once was used to crush nations who threatened us. Now it is increasingly used to crush freedom for Americans, replacing it with control.
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.”
— Bill Gates
“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
— Gloria Steinem
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
— Aldous Huxley
“For the greatest enemy of truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
— John F. Kennedy
“Nature is indifferent to the survival of the human species, including Americans.”
— Adlai Stevenson II, American politician and statesman (on another topic but relevant: Sixth mass extinction is here: Humanity's existence threatened)
“You will find that the truth is often unpopular and the contest between agreeable fancy and disagreeable fact is unequal. For, in the vernacular, we Americans are suckers for good news.”
— Adlai Stevenson II
“Democrats are in favor of higher taxes to pay for greater spending, while Republicans are in favor of greater spending, for which the taxpayers will pay. … The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it.”
— P. J. O'Rourke
“The whole idea of our government is this: If enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it. … Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
— P. J. O'Rourke
“Our national debt is our biggest national security threat.”
— Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Comment: By spending trillions to fight terrorists who can never be defeated, we're doing little to curb that threat while creating an even bigger one: our national debt that will almost surely crush this country and enfeeble it; armed forces without dollars aren't armed for long. Time magazine's The $5 Trillion War on Terror bolstered my belief that the U.S. military is doing a better job of digging our economic grave than they are protecting us. Reference: Mathematical Model Shows Why Defeating Insurgent Groups Like Taliban Is So Difficult (common sense leads to the same conclusion).
“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”
— William Pollard
Comment: That's true of people and nations.
The USSR never achieved its ostensible dream of being a workers' paradise, and the further it got from Communism, the better off its citizens were. American is now beset with an income inequality problem that its leaders are addressing with a heavy-handed approach that would have delighted Communist rulers who thought they had a bright idea. Yet the super-rich keep getting richer while the middle class is being ground down—but then, our leaders don't work for the middle class, despite all their homey lip service that too many people still believe despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Our leaders want us to have more money, yet they take more from us. They value our freedom, yet they take more of it from us. They say we're paying too much for healthcare, so they inflate its net average cost so much that even sensible liberals are wondering what the hell is going on.
A scam, and one that will not end well. Research has shown that even some animals possess an inborn sense of fair play, and react negatively when they are treated unfairly, typically exhibiting a “if the game isn't fair, I won't play it” response that manifests as withdrawal but often signals a gloomy “what's the point?” resignation that may appear to be laziness in humans. More than a few Americans who once valued work are now giving up, ultimately creating more dependents for the government to support, thereby necessitating higher taxes on the remaining workers, which progressively erodes their desire to work. A classic vicious circle.
“Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book, Outliers, about the danger of cultures that don't encourage open debate across levels of an organization. … rigid hierarchies can be stultifying and more importantly, they can be deadly. Rigid hierarchies work against the introduction and spread of good or new ideas. Employees can become alienated, turning them into passive listeners who watch a plane crash or a patient die.”
— Jim Kim, President at The World Bank
Similarly, American Big Government has become a rigid hierarchy that doesn't encourage open debate about the obvious dangers of big government. The risk is evident to government analysts but leaders ignore their warnings. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said “the federal government is on an unsustainable long-term fiscal path.” Translation? If we continue to burn money as if it grew on trees, the United States will collapse. You no longer need to be a rocket scientist to reach that conclusion; every adult with at least a room-temperature IQ and an ounce of common sense can read the writing on the wall, which basically says, “We're screwed.”
How are our leaders responding to this threat? By correcting the problems that caused it? No, by compounding them, throwing more fuel on the fire. Brilliant!
Doug Casey, chairman of Casey Research, said our national debt and unfunded liabilities are “far more than can conceivably be repaid, so the debt is going to be defaulted on, it’s simply a question of how. […] I think the U.S. government should default on the national debt. [Otherwise,] it’s going to make the next several generations of Americans into effect indentured servants, serfs, to pay off the debt that their parents and grandparents have incurred.”
All so Republicans can inefficiently fight wars that aren't essential and Democrats (and Republicans) can spend money we don't have to buy votes. Is it really worth it to ruin the United States for that?
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
— Abraham Lincoln
We're in the process of doing that now, ironically led by people who think they're protecting us, and their masters, who want us to believe they're protecting us. Rah-rah supporters of our military don't fully understand that economic enslavement is incompatible with freedom; they think the real bogeymen are Islamic terrorists, who stand a snowball's chance in hell of ever harming you or a loved one. Meanwhile, our soldiers are fighting to defend a system that is designed to progressively erode our economic and personal freedom. Our leaders go to work every day to change things and ostensibly improve them, but after decades of such changes, the United States isn't stronger—it is unquestionably weaker. Our rulers hope we're dumb enough to not realize that the path they're leading us down is dragging us down. If another country had done to America what our federal leaders have done to us, we'd bomb them into the Stone Age, then cheer.
The oaths of U.S. military personnel obligates them to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” yet some of our best and brightest evidently are not bright enough to understand the Constitution or how the Obama administration is blatantly violating it by using the power of the federal government to wage war on its political enemies, such as the Tea Party. Other current military personnel are acutely aware of how the Constitution is being corrupted, and they're itching for a chance to do something about it. Congress will do what it usually does: swat flies, not go after the manure pile.
“There are 27 specific complaints against the British Crown set forth in the Declaration of Independence. To modern ears they still sound reasonable, in large part, because so many of them can be leveled against the federal government of the United States.”
— P. J. O'Rourke
“One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in their struggle for independence.”
— Charles Austin Beard, American historian
“It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men [in power] are wrong.”
“If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.”
— W. Somerset Maugham
The fantasy of American freedom
While pests such as al-Qaeda pose no real threat to our freedom, Washington does. Our politicians—Republicans and Democrats—have written many millions of laws and regulations, all of which restrict our freedom. This is obvious to people with functioning brains. Virtually all commonsensical laws (prohibiting murder, rape, theft, etc.) were written long before you and I were born. In the decades since, did we really need millions and millions of more pages of legislation to control us? Do we really need another million pages in the next decade, and a million more in the decade after that? It's now so bad that you likely can't have a garage sale without violating a federal law.
“Today, the US is 5% of the World population and has 25% of world prisoners.”
— NAACP Criminal Justice Fact Sheet
Comment: Proof that our leaders are control freaks. With so many laws and regulations, everyone is bound to break at least one, giving those in power the ability to punish ones they hate while giving others a pass. This unequal enforcement, contrary to the rule of law, further amplifies the power of those in control, turning them into demigods who determine who walks free and who rots in prison.
“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”
“We have enough laws already. I don't need to sign any more.”
— President Calvin Coolidge
“Nations with too many laws, endless regulations, just cannot grow or generate enough jobs. Wake up …”
— Ziad K. Abdelnour in Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics
“If you make 10,000 regulations you destroy all respect for the law.”
— Winston Churchill
Woman who made a brief mistake cleaning up dog poop imprisoned for four days—another example of the supposedly free USA being a control-freak nation: NYC police boss pitches amnesty idea to clear 1.2M warrants
Our pathetic government refuses to stop “Rachel from Cardholder Services” and other telemarketers of that ilk—the National Do Not Call Registry is intentionally toothless legislation. Nor will it stop China from perennially selling us products that are often junk and not infrequently toxic. Nor will it stop processed food companies from selling us food that no one would give to their dogs unless they had rocks in their heads. Nor will it stop the Federal Reserve from running a scheme that is robbing us blind and will ultimately lead to our economic collapse. Our government won't stop these miscreants, but it will stop you from enjoying the freedom you're constitutionally guaranteed.
It's plainly nuts. The United States, supposedly The Land of the Free, is really The Land of the Overly Controlled. That's not freedom. If the military wants to fight to maintain and increase our freedom, they should pick a better target.
“Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”
— Hermann Göring, Nazi Party member and commander of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) during World War II, speaking to Gustave Gilbert at the Nuremberg Trials
Remember what Lincoln said? “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
We're in the process of doing that now. If you can't see it, go get your brain transplant and stop blaming one party. They're both to blame.
“Public confidence in the integrity of the government is indispensable to faith in democracy; and when we lose faith in the system, we have lost faith in everything we fight and spend for.”
— Adlai Stevenson II, American politician and statesman
Most Americans are so immersed in their pop culture lives that they don't understand the inherent iniquity in our system. They equate “loving our country” with “loving our government.”
“The people must be helped to think naturally about money. They must be told what it is, and what makes it money, and what are the possible tricks of the present system which put nations and peoples under control of the few.”
— Henry Ford in My Life and Work
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don't have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
— Alan Keightley
Conservatives think liberals are the enemy. Liberals think conservatives are the enemy, along with corporations so hobbled by taxes and regulations they must outsource jobs to stay in business and make a profit. And who stands on top of us all? Our government. It was intended to preserve our freedom but has grown into a monster that lives by the might makes right principle and thinks its right to control you is more important than your right to freedom. Our government thinks that its role is to run your life and tell you what to do. Strong men and women don't need big government. They don't need coddling, nor do they need their lives micromanaged by politicians and the bureaucrats who do their dirty work.
“There are more agriculture bureaucrats than there are farmers in this country.”
— Senator John Kerry, Washington Times (January 16, 2004)
“Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.”
— Mary McCarthy, “The Vita Activa,” The New Yorker (October 18, 1958)
“Mankind is governed by the worst — the strongest example of this is to be seen in American municipalities, but it is true of every government. We are governed by rogues who hold their grip upon us by and through statute law. Were it not for law the people could protect themselves against these thieves, but now we are powerless and are robbed legally. One mild form of coercion these rogues resort to is to call us unpatriotic when we speak the truth about them. Not long ago they would have cut off our heads.”
— Elbert Hubbard
Republican and Democrat politicians no longer even bother to put up a good show of defending our freedoms. Example: They vote for legislation they haven't read; many highly complex bills are rammed through Congress and signed by the President so quickly that even speed readers could not digest them.
Our lawmakers are not writing those laws and voting on them after reading and carefully considering them, so they cannot possibly defend our freedom. Instead, those traitors on the Left and Right are trading our freedoms for more payoffs, from exotic vacations supplied by fat cats who pull their strings with their cash and what it can buy, such as sexual favors from hot women.
The latter have become an increasingly popular way to buy off our politicians after several of their predecessors were convicted of accepting bribes. Money is easy to trace, but sexual favors are not. The United States is being flushed down the drain so a bunch of over-the-hill politicians tired of their wives can sleep with gorgeous women young enough to be their daughters. Principled people turn down such offers; I did, and I was just an ER doc. Suffice it to say that:
- Our national leaders are vastly more powerful than I was as a physician.
- Many people attempt to persuade people in power using money or sex as inducements.
“You cannot parcel out freedom in pieces because freedom is all or nothing.”
“Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.”
— Adlai Stevenson II
“Freedom is not empowerment. … Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It's not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the "right" to education, the "right" to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle.”
— P. J. O'Rourke
“Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do freedom. If they clamor for freedom, it is but freedom to establish equality and uniformity. The passion for equality is partly a passion for anonymity: to be one thread of the many which make up a tunic; one thread not distinguishable from the others. No one can then point us out, measure us against others and expose our inferiority.”
— Eric Hoffer
“The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. He is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like knowledge, courage and honor. It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty—and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.”
— H. L. Mencken in the Baltimore Evening Sun, February 12, 1923
Liberals tend to think more favorably of the government, which they often view as a benevolent Santa Claus or Robin Hood who gives them stuff taken from others. Oh, are they in for a rude awakening! Both major parties use wealth redistribution as a means to cement their power. People are pacified as long as some goodies flow their way, but when our increasingly impoverished government can no longer borrow enough money or print it (literally creating it out of thin air), severe cutbacks are inevitable.
That will inevitably lead to riots, such as those now occurring in Greece, but as bad as things are in Greece, they will be even worse in the USA. Greece is receiving massive bailouts that serve as its life support, but what nation is richer than us and willing to bail us out? Who is going to be our Sugar Daddy?
The United States is already beyond bankrupt. We've past the point of no return and are destined to be a deadbeat nation with a debt that is mathematically impossible to repay without pixie dust or a miracle invented by an Einstein. The fools who lend us money will eventually wise up and demand much higher interest rates or cut us off completely. That will leave little or no money for folks who depend on the government to survive. They will riot in ways that make rioters in Greece seem civilized.
And how will our government respond? By shooting them. In preparation for that, the U.S. Government is already stockpiling hollow-point bullets—ones designed to kill, not just stop—to be used not on terrorists, but on anyone who threatens the system that screwed so many for so long it finally imploded.
Major General Jerry Curry, USA (Ret.) wrote an article (Who Does The Government Intend To Shoot?) discussing how the government is purchasing enough bullets for domestic use to kill every American several times, as mentioned in The big media lie about the US government's purchases of over one billion rounds of anti-personnel ammunition. Also see (1) Homeland Security and its cache of bullets: 1.6 billion rounds of ammo (2) Department of Homeland Security buying up enough ammo to wage seven-year war against the American people. UPDATE: Forbes is confirming this story that originally appeared in the Denver Post: Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6 billion rounds of ammo. Forbes: 1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It's Time For A National Conversation.
A conservative friend who, like me, once deeply respected our military said that several of his active-duty military friends, including a West Point graduate, told him how our armed forces are developing numerous scenarios for fighting citizens should they dare tire of the “screw the little guy system.”
Preposterous, you say? The government doesn't think so; they've already begun planning for it. Read Known Unknowns: Unconventional “Strategic Shocks” in Defense Strategy Development, a publication prepared for the U.S. Department of Defense by Nathan P. Freier, who discusses “Violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States.” That's an egghead way of saying civil war—something I knew was inevitable in the late 1980s. When the United States was economically soaring a few years later, I put that speculation into print in a published book.
When I wrote about politics in the first edition of True Emergency Room Stories and Fascinating Health Secrets, it may have seemed out of place to some people, but politics and medicine are inseparable in the United States. I knew that if what I saw in the ER was an accurate microcosm of what happened around the nation, we were wasting vast amounts of money not just in defensive medicine, but also catering to oddballs with bizarre requests and showering more money on people than they had paid into the system. I put 2 and 2 together and projected that the United States was headed for bankruptcy that would end in civil war, which I referred to as “an internecine struggle of heretofore unseen magnitude.” I figured that folks smart enough to understand demographics and economics would also be intelligent enough to know that “internecine struggle of heretofore unseen magnitude” = “civil war,” and civil war = the end of the USA, which will split into separate nations.
That prediction may have once seemed ludicrous, but it doesn't any longer. In a radio interview on Bob Brinker's Moneytalk, Thomas Mackell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, discussed the possibility of intergenerational warfare in the United States. Time magazine asked, Will the Federal Reserve Cause a Civil War? In From Bailout to Bliss, I wrote about how some very prominent people, including high-ranking politicians, are predicting the same thing. Without a miracle or an endless supply of pixie dust, not one economist or politician can plausibly explain how we can repay our national debt and meet our future unfunded obligations: $130 trillion and rapidly growing.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels warned the United States faces a “survival-level threat” if its national debt isn't quickly reduced. He said, “Mathematically, the amount of debt we already have and the terrifying rate at which it is accumulating will lead to national ruin. There's no other outcome arithmetically possible.” Daniels said we're already in too deep of a hole to dig our way out with only tax increases or service cuts, so we must encourage private-sector economic growth and reform entitlement programs. In another article, I explained how we could do the latter without hurting anyone. Without my plan, or something comparable (good luck trying to think of one that could do as much with zero pain), many millions of people will suffer from draconian cutbacks, and we'll still go broke.
The size of the United States economy does not make it immune to the laws of economics, so predicting that our nation will collapse now seems like a no-brainer. However, when I made that prediction in 1998, our economy was booming and outwardly healthy, yet I knew that a dangerous cancer was growing. I wanted to warn others of this looming disaster, so I revealed some of the egregious ways our money was being wasted. Little did I know at the time how our government was wasting money in thousands of other ways.
“It used to be that when the U.S. economy grew, workers up and down the economic ladder saw their incomes increase, too. But over the past 25 years, the economy has grown 83 percent, after adjusting for inflation — and the typical family's income hasn't budged. In that time, corporate profits doubled as a share of the economy. Workers today produce nearly twice as many goods and services per hour on the job as they did in 1989, but as a group, they get less of the nation's economic pie. In 81 percent of America's counties, the median income is lower today than it was 15 years ago.”
— Excerpted from Why Americaís middle class is lost: The middle class took America to the moon. Then something went horribly wrong.
While our economic problems are worse than I thought in '98, we might be able to avert an economic meltdown if we implement outside-the-box ways to stimulate our economy by enhancing innovation and productivity. I mentioned some of those solutions in From Bailout to Bliss and my blog, but most people seem wedded to inside-the-box remedies, such as cutting taxes and regulation. As a proponent of smaller government, I think that less taxes and regulation would help, but expecting them to fix our monumental economic problems is like expecting vitamins to save a terminally ill cancer patient.
I agree with liberals on some issues but not economics, because as a group they favor big government (update: I lost my affinity for conservatism and Republicans after realizing they do, too), which will prove to be the kiss of death for the U.S. economy. While I favor giving money to those who need help, I've seen far too many instances of giving money to people who simply want it because they want to sit on their butts while you work to support them (such as ex-welfare cheat Star Parker, author of Pimps, Whores and Welfare Brats: From Welfare Cheat to Conservative Messenger) or they want to spend their money on other things.
For example, I know a family who has received countless freebies from the government (that is, the taxpayers), yet that family has things I couldn't have afforded in my peak earning years as an ER doctor. The government cultivated a “why work when you can steal money from those who do?” attitude, and many people have taken advantage of this munificence. Obama's aunt comes to mind. She seems to think that American taxpayers owe her a living, and she expresses this viewpoint in a brazenly arrogant way that reveals her shocking sense of entitlement.
More Americans than ever are disgusted
with both political parties, with good reason.
However, it isn't just liberal Democrats who are burdening us with debt we can't repay, because most Republican Congressmen and Presidents have their own pet ways of digging our economic hole deeper, such as endless wars we can't afford. Thus, I am no fan of Republicans OR Democrats. We have the illusion of choice, not real choice. Democrats and Republicans are really two wings of the same Big Government party, both of which (despite their campaign rhetoric) have been remarkably effective in expanding the power of the federal government while progressively reducing the freedom of American citizens. The biggest thieves are in office, not prison.
“If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.”
— Emma Goldman
“We have a One Big Government Party system. It has a Republican wing that likes war and deficits and assaults on civil liberties and a Democratic wing that likes welfare and taxes and attacks on commercial liberties. It doesn't care about your freedoms because in exercising them you are an obstacle to its power. And it will do anything to stay in power.”
— Judge Andrew Napolitano
One more reason why our government continues to grow:
“The ratio between supervisory and producing personnel is always highest where the intellectuals are in power. In a Communist country it takes half the population to supervise the other half.”
— Eric Hoffer in The Temper of Our Time
“The history of this country was made largely by people who wanted to be left alone. Those who could not thrive when left to themselves never felt at ease in America.”
— Eric Hoffer
“Advocating the expansion of the powers of the state is treason to mankind.”
— P. J. O'Rourke
“Politics is the business of getting power and privilege without possessing merit. A politician is anyone who asks individuals to surrender part of their liberty—their power and privilege—to State, Masses, Mankind, Planet Earth, or whatever. This state, those masses, that mankind, and the planet will then be run by … politicians.”
— P. J. O'Rourke
“How did an allegedly free people spawn a vast, rampant cuttlefish of dominion with its tentacles in every orifice of the body politic?”
— P. J. O'Rourke
“When the rest of the USA recognizes we live in a fascist totalitarian dictatorship with power handed off like a stick in a marathon between Democrats and Republicans with identical agendas using slightly different strategies, we might have a chance.”
— Behrooz Rostampour
“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism—how passionately I hate them!”
— Albert Einstein
“It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.”
“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”
“We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower
“The purpose is clear. It is safety with solvency. The country is entitled to both.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Government is a health hazard. Governments have killed many more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seat belts ever have.”
— P. J. O'Rourke
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2014 the United States spent $610 billion on defense while the next 14 nations with highest military expenditures spent a combined $816.5 billion and the rest of the world spent $349 billion. How (on Earth!) can the USA spend so much and get so little bang for its bucks? By wasting money in horrendously inefficient ways, just as it does to make other aspects of government consume so much while returning so little. The United States needs fresh thinking on how to do more with less (or even nothing), such as my proposal for plowing roads free.
If money grew on trees, spending trillions of dollars fighting terrorists, suspected terrorists, and other enemies around the world would be a good idea. The problem, of course, is that money doesn't grow on trees. We're spending a fortune to fight the estimated 100 al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. This war, and others like it, almost certainly makes us more secure now, but at a catastrophic future cost. As I mentioned in From Bailout to Bliss, we are rapidly nearing the day when we must choose between domestic spending and defense spending.
By 2025, every dollar of federal revenue will be spent paying interest on the national debt and entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare. This means that there will be NO money left to pay for defense, highways, air traffic control, education, job training, agriculture, science, energy, community development, international relations, world hunger, the environment, federal law enforcement/courts/prisons, and the many other functions of the federal government, which range from essential to ludicrous and a flagrant waste of money. If other countries are still dumb enough to lend us money, they will demand increasingly high interest rates, which will only compound our problem. Alternatively, if we pay for national defense, many millions of elderly and disabled people will suffer and die from poverty that now seems unimaginable.
Here's an analogy to clarify this predicament: Let's say a single woman living in a bad area sought to increase her security by purchasing a super-duper alarm system and replacing her windows with bullet-proof glass covered with iron bars. That's fine if she could afford it, but what if she were bankrupted by buying more than she could afford? She might go from a reasonably—but not perfectly—secure home to a highly insecure cardboard box or park bench.
This is what will soon happen in the United States. For a marginal improvement in current security, we will end up with no security unless the government uses its iron fist to impoverish us to continue funding our armed forces. Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, and Congressman Ron Paul, a Republican, are smart enough to realize that our War on Terror will ultimately slit our own throats and put us in a cardboard box or six feet under.
So what shall we do when 2025 rolls around? Let our enemies kick sand in our faces, or let people starve in the streets?
“There has never been a nation in the history of the world that saw its economy decline and maintained its military superiority.”
— Senator Barack Obama, in the second 2008 Presidential debate
“There's no doubt that history shows us that nations that are strong militarily over time have to have a strong economy as well, and that is one of the challenges that America faces.”
— Senator John McCain in the same debate
In addition to the wars and skirmishes we know about, the U.S. military does things we never hear about in the news. A veteran said that many jets leaving his aircraft carrier came back without their bombs and without an explanation for why they were used.
In From Bailout to Bliss, I mentioned how Marine hero General Smedley Butler said that he eventually realized how he had spent most of his time “being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it.”
“… in the U.S. around half of R&D is military/government-related.”
— Yoshito Hori
The United States is so fond of war that it sometimes intentionally harms its own citizens, such as when “the Army used motorized blowers atop a low-income housing high-rise, at schools and from the backs of station wagons to” spray toxic zinc cadmium sulfide, possibly mixed with radioactive particles, “in the mid-1950s, and again a decade later” that led to many cancers and other harmful effects. One of the surviving members of a family that suffered greatly commented, “If they did that, there's no telling what else they're hiding.”
Plenty. That's just the tip of the iceberg. In the case mentioned above, the government primarily targeted black people, just as they did in the Tuskegee syphilis experiment.
Quotes by Ron Paul that should give all thinking people reason to think:
“What if the American people learn the truth: that our foreign policy has nothing to do with national security and that it never changes from one administration to the next?”
“What if the American people woke up and understood that the official reasons for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests?”
“What if we as a nation came to realize that the quest for empire eventually destroys all great nations?”
“What if war and preparation for war is a racket serving the special interests?”
Read more related quotes by Ron Paul suggesting that his “crazy” opposition to our wars isn't so crazy after all.
“Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.”
— Euripides, Greek tragic dramatist (484 BC - 406 BC)
Ol' Euripides could explain why the fools at Fox News are quick to suggest that Ron Paul is a fool.
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
— Albert Einstein
Note: I used to be an über-war hawk, über-Republican, and über-conservative who loved Fox News, but I now loathe their inside-the-box myopia that leads them to the insane conclusion that the path to our recovery is to do what Reagan did (defense spending like there's no tomorrow) or to rehash freeze-dried ideas from other bygone American politicians — inside-the-box ones, of course, because at Fox News, anyone who conceives an idea that hasn't already been tried and proven to fail is a dangerous loon … or so they want us to believe. That's why they reflexively bash Ron Paul. Reflexively suggests acting without thinking, which is the primary problem with the silver-tongued idiots at Fox News. If they could think, they'd realize that the policies they advocate are the ones that created the mess we're in.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
— Albert Einstein
“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.”
— Albert Einstein
Einstein also said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination,” but the Fox News stars are bereft of imagination. They believe what they're told to believe by the puppet masters who pull their strings and sign their massive paychecks. They don't stray off the ideological farm; they slavishly echo old ideas in a way bound to irk General George Patton, who said, “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.”
Thomas Edison said, “There's a way to do it better — find it,” but Fox News demonizes and ridicules (an Alinsky tactic from Rules for Radicals) anyone with new ideas. In another article, I explained why Admiral Rickover would not like Fox News, and why I went from Fox News fan to fed-up foe.
If you study American history with your eyes open, you may see how skilled our leaders are in manipulating public opinion to drum up enthusiastic support for fighting overseas. They're now making the War on Terror seem like the only reasonable thing to do, but there's a smart way to fight terrorism, and then there is the Bush-Obama* way. In the end, they will have spent far too much to get far too little. They will not defeat the enemy, but they will bankrupt us. Like cancer cells remaining after the final chemotherapy treatment, the terrorists will then flourish, with little opposition, and we will regret letting our leaders throw money at a problem when outside-the-box solutions could have done far more for far less. (*However, Obama deserves credit for being the only President in history wise enough to realize that our long-term national defense will be strengthened by scaling back the military we now have—military we can't afford.)
“Kimberly Guilfoyle also said she understood O'Reilly's “frustration” with an Obama administration that's "treating American people's money like Monopoly money."”
Comment: All recent Presidents and almost all members of Congress are guilty of that, too.
The “media-military industrial complex” doesn't ask the tough questions it should. Instead of fulfilling their watchdog role as the Fourth Estate, they serve as lapdogs of the system to help pull the wool over the eyes of sheeple who mindlessly give reverence to it. The propagandists masquerading as journalists do the same thing with our political leaders, giving them soft treatment.
Unfortunately, this isn't solely a national problem; this cancer of spinelessness or brainlessness affects local journalists, too. For example, when Professor Gary Wolfram praised a talk show host on WTCM for defending freedom, I wondered if he'd ever heard the host suck up and bow down to politicians, which he routinely does.
When previously challenged on his soft treatment of Representative Bart Stupak around the time of his infamous ObamaCare sellout, when almost everyone with a brain wondered if Stupak had one, the spineless host interviewed Stupak but treated him with kid gloves, excusing that as necessary for him to interview other politicians, who do their best to avoid true journalists. Thus, this host is no defender of freedom; he's just another weak-kneed sellout happy to be a safe haven for leaders who are running the United States into the ground.
Stupak “appears to have belatedly realized his pro-life critics were right.” Duh. A real journalist with an ounce of common sense would have injected a bit of it into Stupak's brain so he woke up in time, but the local talk show host who abhors ObamaCare helped it pass by being a pushover, not a defender of freedom.
“True success is not standing atop a corrupt system, but standing up to it.” (source)
Ellen Brown, JD, author of The Web of Debt, reveals how governments use war to economically advance the business interests of the wealthy corporations that use their money to influence politicians.
President James Madison said:
“The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.”
“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be under the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
Ben Franklin said:
“All Wars are Follies, very expensive, and very mischievous ones.”
“There never was a good war or a bad peace.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said:
“A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.”
The rich people who pull the strings of their puppet politicians are very astute masters of manipulation who are always stirring the pot, creating situations in which war seems like the right response. They profit from war directly and indirectly, so they want more of it. Directly, by financing wars and profiting from military contracts; indirectly, by using the military to punish governments that won't cooperate with their sordid plans to rule the world by imposing their rules on the rest of us.
Ron Paul explained why the Tea Party can't fight big government at home while supporting it abroad. Even if you disagree with him on philosophical grounds, as a matter of practicality, we simply cannot afford to be the world's policeman any longer.
“Ideas have unhinged the gates of empires.”
— Paul Harris
If you're fond of nature programs, you likely know that big, tough male animals often defend their access to females and food. However, as those males age, they are more likely to be injured or killed while defending their territory. America is now like one of those aging males: we are past our prime and still capable of putting up one heck of a fight, but not without risking an injury that could prematurely lead to our demise.
The United States cannot afford to do everything it has done in the past. Instead of coming to terms with this economic reality, our kooky leaders are spending money like there is no tomorrow. And there may not be, thanks to them.
Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee and the man who Obama initially selected to be Secretary of Commerce, is talking about possible “bankruptcy for the United States. There's no other way around it. If we maintain the proposals which are in this budget over the 10-year period that this budget covers, this country will go bankrupt. People will not buy our debt; our dollar will become devalued.”
Senator Gregg said that “we’re basically on the path to a banana-republic-type of financial situation in this country” within 10 years. “We're going to undermine fundamentally the quality of life for our children by doing this. […] It will be hard for our kids to buy a car, buy a house, or send their kids to college. The standard of living will drop.”
“Sooner or later, we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.”
— Robert Louis Stevenson
“The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.”
— Winston Churchill
“Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
The standard of living is dropping. Of all the horror stories I've heard, the only that rattled me the most was hearing a hardworking man I recently met describe how he went from owning a thriving business with 75 employees to selling off his personal assets for cents on the dollar, including the playhouse he made for his young daughter. He went from living in a luxurious large home in a very upscale area to living in a flophouse with his family.
Many small, medium, and large businesses that were once successful are now defunct or teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Add in the tens of millions of struggling Americans, and you're forced to conclude that either the American people are stupid or our leaders are. I believe it's the latter. After digging our grave with excessive military spending, we're building $3 billion stealth destroyers. An “outspoken admiral in China has scoffed that all it would take to sink the high-tech American ship is an armada of explosive-laden fishing boats.” Our enemies know they can't surpass our technology, so they think of clever ways to neutralize it with asymmetric warfare.
Our leaders have burdened us with myriad laws and regulations that even they don't understand—or often even bother to read. They've given us byzantine tax code that even mystified Albert Einstein, who said, “The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.” In effect, they've put shackles around our ankles and nooses around our necks, and have the gall to feign surprise when we aren't more prosperous living in a nation in which successful people are penalized and demonized by politicians hoping to impress voters who like work the best when you do it for them—such as Star Parker, who once preferred going to the beach while you paid her expenses.
Author Robert Heinlein said, “It is socially unacceptable to be right too early.” When I wrote True Emergency Room Stories in the 1990s, I was right: America was in a heap o' trouble, and welfare was a big part of it. Giving many millions of people things they did not earn—food, clothing, medical care, college educations, utilities, and even homes—was a recipe for disaster, so when the USA was riding high during the Clinton years, I knew we were headed for a crash. How many economists at that time were saying the same thing? One? Yes, and he was Russian. It's not that I am so perceptive as an amateur economist, but that the professional ones were so obtuse.
Just put 2 and 2 together, and see if they add up to something other than big trouble. I knew the housing bubble was bound to burst years before it did when I witnessed home prices rise to the point that I couldn't begin to afford any of the gargantuan homes springing up like weeds in vast subdivisions that seemed to go on forever in fields that were vacant a few years before. I wondered, “Where do all those people get so much money?” The money bubble, the dot-com bubble, or reinvested profits from the real estate bubble. One by one, they burst. Pop, pop, pop, and our economy deflated.
Voters give too much attention to what politicians say, not what they do. What they do is screw Main Street to benefit people who are allergic to work, fat cats on Wall Street, and myriad special interest groups. Cunning politicians are masters at pitting groups of Americans against each other, so we fight one another instead of them.
“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”
— P. J. O'Rourke
Most people want basically the same things: a good job, a nice home and car, peace and security, and a bright future for our children. In spite of those similarities, liberals often say they hate conservatives, or vice versa. Politicians often talk about bringing us together, but they're actually very divisive. They depend on that divisiveness to polarize our nation into groups they can manipulate. They could bring us together if they were smart and cared more about us than themselves. Fat chance of that.
“Americans have the best politicians that money can buy.”
— A basic truth known to all wise Americans
“A fool and his money are soon elected.”
— Will Rogers
I advocate freedom and fiscal responsibility, not reckless spending that is digging the USA grave. Tax-and-spend liberal Democrats—and big government Republicans—have had a heyday killing the goose that laid the golden eggs, but when our goose is cooked, as it almost surely will be, we won't have money to fund wars, social programs, education, and pork barrel spending for frivolous things like The Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the Montana Sheep Institute, the Reindeer Herder's Association, Hawaiian canoe trips, a Vulcan monument, a rice museum, the Polynesian Voyaging Society, and research to see if female co-eds go all the way after drinking beer.
Didn't hear about that research? You can read about it in From Bailout to Bliss. Here's an excerpt that reveals how I mocked Congress for this flagrant waste of money:
If you wish to reuse this image, please contact me first so you can pay the
small licensing fee to the photographer and models, who don't work for free.
I am willing to give away my part (turning their image into a magazine
cover), but I cannot give away their photo, which I paid to use.
The federal government also spent millions to survey men in Mexico who patronize prostitutes. With our economy crumbling, do we really need to pay to find out if using drugs makes men more likely to not practice safe sex? Why not save millions and guess the obvious answer? When men are stoned, they're more concerned with pleasure and less concerned with disease. Duh. This isn't legitimate science with a pressing need; this is burning money any way they can. But this study did prove something very important: that our federal government is devoid of common sense and has lost touch with reality.
Just as children often require oversight to behave responsibly, our leaders do, too. A Citizens' Commonsense Committee should have the authority to review all proposed spending and veto the frivolous stuff.
Just itching to spend taxpayer money to see what horny college co-eds do after drinking beer? No, dear leaders; screw your heads on straight and forget about it!
Ditto for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the Montana Sheep Institute, the Reindeer Herder's Association, Hawaiian canoe trips, a Vulcan monument, a rice museum, and the Polynesian Voyaging Society. Most of that is laughable; none is essential, as are many of the hundreds of thousands of other ways our government wastes money.
Our economy has been kept alive by several bubbles, but they've already popped and are deflating. The Federal Reserve is literally creating money out of thin air in an attempt to buoy our economy, but this government-sanctioned counterfeiting is far more extensive and hence more injurious than criminal counterfeiting. The Federal Reserve is also playing games such as buying our debt, which does as little to enrich us as when a person tries to enrich himself by transferring money from his left pocket to his right pocket. These clear-cut signs of desperation by the Federal Reserve manifest how precarious our economy is. Even Donald Trump spoke of a “death spiral” that may precipitate the economic collapse of the United States.
Republicans are marginally less greedy than Democrats in terms of taxation, yet they are still greedy—and stupid. Both major political parties favor a heavy-handed approach to governing. Rather than looking for innovative ways to provide necessary services and infrastructure at the lowest possible cost (such as how roads could be plowed free), their lock on power is so firmly entrenched that they never perceive a need to think of innovative ways to make government more of a friend and less of a burdensome enemy.
As I explained in From Bailout to Bliss, instead of taxing you, the government could send a check to you every year, and as I explained in my blog, it is even possible to make paying taxes so joyous that one wants to pay even more. However, most people think that medicine must taste bad to be good, so they don't look for outside-the-box ways to improve government, society, and their personal lives. Liked a caged animal that cannot imagine what life is like outside the box it is trapped in, people are born into a system and resign themselves to its many flaws, thinking that's just the way it has to be. No, it doesn't.
An advertising slogan created for Apple Computer in 1997 brilliantly explained how “the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently” who are “crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
We pay attention to people with innovative products, but not those with novel ideas for spurring economic growth. Why?
Our leaders in Washington think they can borrow and spend our way out of debt. What do you think?
With Americans screwed from the Left and screwed from the Right, is it any wonder why this country is so screwed up?
“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche
“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. … I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends … and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it.”
— John Lennon
“Politicians regard the public as a cow to be milked …”
— Elbert Hubbard
“And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace.”
“The ratio between supervisory and producing personnel is always highest where the intellectuals are in power. In a Communist country it takes half the population to supervise the other half.”
— Eric Hoffer
“The only index by which to judge a government or a way of life is by the quality of the people it acts upon. No matter how noble the objectives of a government, if it blurs decency and kindness, cheapens human life, and breeds ill will and suspicion — it is an evil government.”
— Eric Hoffer
“If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower
“In most communities it is illegal to cry 'fire' in a crowded assembly. Should it not be considered serious international misconduct to manufacture a general war scare in an effort to achieve local political aims?”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower
Big Government mistakes beyond Big Military
Overspending on defense is but one mistake our leaders make. Another is that American politicians, especially Democrats, perennially shy away from adult discussions with adults who want adult pleasures like sex without adult responsibilities for its consequences. Have kids you can't afford? No problem; just elect politicians who make others pay for your children!
I'm not opposed to welfare, but that needed safety net has ballooned beyond our ability to sustain it long-term unless we adopt my proposal to give more to those who need it while taking less from taxpayers. Don't hold your breath waiting for that, because our lawmakers have buried us under a blizzard of laws and regulations yet the ones they never pass are those that would truly help us—and by “us,” I mean all of us, from rich to poor and in-between—not just the half of Americans favored by the party in control that wages war on other Americans because they can't figure out how to help some without hurting others.
Our government is so utterly obsessed with controlling us it's difficult to have a garage sale without violating a federal law. Ironically in spite of all that control, U.S. politicians refuse to address behavior that's cost us trillions of dollars in the past and will saddle us with untold trillions in the future until the United States crumbles from bills it cannot pay—bills that are now snowballing into a national debt that almost certainly will never be repaid.
An arguably even bigger mistake is our government's nutty approach to healthcare, which I'll address in another article.
“One of the great things and one of the horrible things about the American character is this extraordinary optimism and arrogance that everything will continue to be great and keep looking up.”
— John Wells
“It is the well-educated who will improve society — and they will improve it, at first, by criticizing it, and we are giving them the tools to criticize it. Naturally, as students, the brighter of them will begin their improvements on society by criticizing us.”
— Archie Thorndike in A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
“Patriotism is the conviction that your country is superior to all others because you were born in it.”
— George Bernard Shaw
- 1946 film: Battle of Athens: an illustration of what the Second Amendment is about: combating tyranny, not ducks or deer.
- State Department Hid Dysfunction, Corruption Of Hillary Years
Excerpt: “From 2009 to 2013, she traveled to more nations than any top U.S. diplomat in history. But U.S. foreign policy today is in a shambles, from a destabilized Middle East on the threshold of a nuclear arms race to a backfired Russian "reset" with ex-KGB officer Vladimir Putin becoming more aggressive to America than any time since the Cold War. … And in what may be its oddest passage, the draft reports that investigators "pointedly carry their own firearms constantly" within the State Department building, fearing "a nasty elevator confrontation" with those under investigation.”
Comment: Just the tip of the dysfunctional government ruining this once-great nation.
- Fmr. Secret Service agent: Our Constitutional Republic is collapsing
- Michael Goodwin (a Democrat, mind you): Obama’s big government stumbling for want of a nail
Comment: The illusion that our government is competent is maintained only by massive amounts of money and power, with some of the latter seized by people in Washington who pretend to not understand the Constitution, deeming that less important than their opinions, partisan objectives, and Machiavellian scheming.
- After Great Recession, Americans are unhappy, worried, pessimistic, study finds
- Millennials Face Toughest Economy Since Great Depression
- 7 Things the Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore
- Why Your Wages Could Be Depressed for a Lot Longer Than You Think
- New evidence that politics, not economics, drives inequality
- Lessons we can learn about salary negotiations from the cast of The Big Bang Theory
Comment: Extrapolate that to other situations, such as how most Americans think the federal government is irresponsible, out of control, and a bully. Solution? Bingo!
- Why Are There So Many Crazy People In Charge?
- Obamacare Contractor Pays Employees to ‘Do Nothing’
- More Americans in their golden years are going hungry
- Not just the [U.S.] poor live hand-to-mouth
- America's young workers: Destined for failure?
Excerpt: “The essence of the problem is that young people face a severe shortage of good jobs.”
- Could Politics Trump Economics As Reason for Growing Income Inequality?
Comment: Labor union members often assume that Democrats are their friends. Wrong.
- Ilana Mercer: What if the media were moral?
- After spending trillions to fight terrorism, we did not beat it. The threat is now (August 2013) so severe the U.S. is closing embassies and consulates. That's like spending a fortune on bug spray after which the pests multiply and come back stronger than ever. We cannot win this war using conventional thinking and conventional responses.
- Al Qaeda Threat: Officials Fear 'Ingenious' Liquid Explosive
- Example #4312 that shatters the myth that our government cares about us: Cost of Sustainable Red Light Camera Programs? Shortening Yellow Lights and Increasing Speed Limits Results in More Crashes Excerpt: “Some municipalities engineer their traffic signals to force drivers into this situation in an effort to generate revenue from the cameras.”
- IRS knew tea party targeted in 2011
Comment: Hitler would approve of abusing government power to target opponent's political groups. So would Nixon. So would you-know-who, but if you dare criticize him, his well-funded political attack machine will go on the warpath. He's perfect, so if you disagree, you must be stupid, wrong, and a racist. If you're not, they'll lie through their teeth to make you seem that way, and Google—either stupid or in cahoots with them—will lap up their smears. Competent adults can stand on their own two feet without assistance, so these rabid defenses diminish the man they seek to protect, and diminish America, in which free speech now belongs only to those who aren't especially good at criticizing our leaders.
- Fed Leaks Are a Reminder the Game Is Rigged, Says Najarian
- Medicaid Pays for Nearly Half of All Births in the United States
- Growing Gap Between Teens' Materialism and Willingness to Work Hard
- Yet another reason why the USA is failing: Texting, Social Networking and Other Media Use Linked to Poor Academic Performance (Excerpt: “According to a new study, freshmen women spend nearly half their day—12 hours—engaged in some form of media use, particularly texting, music, the Internet and social networking.”)
- In desperation, the government will turn to surveillance: Dangers of Surveillance: It's Bad, but Why?
- Harvard Law Review: The Dangers of Surveillance
- High Home Ownership Can Seriously Damage Labor Market, New Study Suggests
Comment: Yet our government encourages home ownership, primarily by making people who don't own homes help pay for those who do—that's what the mortgage interest deduction boils down to.
- A Chilling Scenario of the End of America Foretold
- Learned Helplessness in Flies and the Roots of Depression
Excerpt: “When faced with impossible circumstances beyond their control, animals, including humans, often hunker down as they develop sleep or eating disorders, ulcers, and other physical manifestations of depression.”
Comment: If the U.S. government isn't purposely trying to induce learned helplessness in its citizens, it is inadvertently doing a good job of that. Countless Americans have given up hope of having a sane government. In response, they've become embittered and cynical.
- Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto
- Military budget of the United States
- Federal Spending by the Numbers - 2012
Excerpt: “Total federal spending for fiscal year 2012 reached $3.6 trillion, or 22.9% the size of the entire U.S. economy. In the past 20 years, federal outlays have grown 71% faster than inflation. The average American household’s share of this spending is $29,691, roughly two-thirds of median household income.”
Comment: Our federal government is devouring our economy. Add in what state and local governments take, and it's no wonder why we're failing and almost bound to collapse.
- U.S. Bank Legal Bills Exceed $100 Billion
- The Reason We Lose at Games: Some Games Simply Too Complex for the Human Mind to Understand
Excerpt: “This research could also have implications for the financial markets. Many economists base financial predictions of the stock market on equilibrium theory—assuming that traders are infinitely intelligent and rational. This, the academics argue, is rarely the case and could lead to predictions of how markets react being wildly inaccurate.”
Comment: I agree. For many years I asserted that investors often make decisions based on emotion, whim, and incomplete evidence.
- How to Deregulate Cities and States: Cost-benefit analysis and 'lookbacks' could lift the unnecessary burdens of occupational licensing.
- Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on Obama family last year, perks questioned in new book
Excerpt: “The most concerning thing, I think, is the use of taxpayer funds to actually abet his re-election.”
- “Its chief executive, Obama, indulges himself in luxury almost every day, squandering hundred millions of dollars on his foreign trip in disregard of his people's wretched life.”
— North Korean “news” agency KCNA, in a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.
- How America will collapse (by 2025): Four scenarios that could spell the end of the United States as we know it—in the very near future
- “When University of Chicago economist Raghuram Rajan raised unwelcome questions about the stability of the world financial system in 2005 … former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers dismissed his argument [but Rajan] was right.”
- US Economy Going From Bad to Worse: Roubini
- We Are Living in a ‘Modern-Day Depression’: David Rosenberg
- Peter Schiff said the U.S. is heading toward a collapse worse than 2008
- Will the US Really Experience a Violent Upheaval in 2020?
- America could be ‘taken over,’ warns Ross Perot
- Texas judge warns of possible ‘civil war’ if President Obama is re-elected
- Where did the mammoth US budget deficits come from?
Excerpt: “Let's go back about a decade, when budget surpluses were predicted for the foreseeable future. Somehow, the math went terribly wrong, by trillions of dollars. Here's an accounting of what happened.”
- Interior Secretary's $222,000 Bathroom
- Former Governor Jesse Ventura “compares the two parties [Democrat and Republican] to rival street gangs — forever engaged in violence, but with no end or positive outcome in sight.”
Comment: There's another way to look at this. Most Americans assume that because one party is wrong, the other must be right. That is a logical fallacy. Both parties are to blame for running us into the ground. Want proof? Read Where did the mammoth US budget deficits come from? Want more proof? Analyze the problems affecting the United States and ask yourself if they all came from the other party. Certainly not.
The reality is that Republicans are bad, but so are Democrats. The problem is that both groups of thugs have a death grip on us, and they won't let go until the USA is so run down that what little remains won't be worth fighting for. We vote in rigged elections dominated by the two-party/two-wings-of-the-same-bird system that is OBVIOUSLY screwing us (if you need more evidence, you need a brain transplant), yet 95% of Americans are so unable to think for themselves that they can't think of the obvious solution. Sans a miracle, we're screwed.
The biggest mistake Americans make is paying far more attention to the rhetoric of politicians than their actions. I made the same mistake for decades when I bought into the Republican BS about smaller government and lower taxes, but Republicans didn't shrink the federal government even when they controlled Congress and the presidency. Instead, they expanded government and spent so much they made higher taxes inevitable.
Republican voters are apt to believe that our military fights for our freedom, but the reality is that al-Qaeda stands almost no chance of conquering us even if we had no military; we have hundreds of millions of guns and people who'd eagerly wipe them out in less than a week, yet our almighty armed forces are struggling to contain them after more than a decade of spending us into the ground.
As long as we keep our nuclear weapons, aggressive nations such as Russia and China would never dare attack us because their leaders don't want their countries glowing at 10,000,000 degrees Celsius. Hence, we should maintain our nuclear deterrent but get rid of the rest of the military that's doing nothing to preserve our freedom; instead, by economically enfeebling us, they are surely destroying our freedom.
- [Starbucks CEO] Howard Schultz: 'The American Dream Is in Jeopardy'
Excerpt: “It's a dangerous time, we are drifting towards mediocrity.”
Comment: I agree, except I think we're not drifting towards mediocrity, we're racing towards it.
- The New American Dream: It's Not What You Think
- Wave goodbye to the two-car family
- Robert Gordon: The death of innovation, the end of growth
- How the Fed Could Fix the Economy--and Why It Hasn't
- Book: Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America
- Experts warn of 'perfect storm' for global economy
- What Does the IRS Know About You?
Excerpt: “The American Civil Liberties Union says it has IRS documents that reveal the IRS believes it has the legal authority even to open private emails without people's knowledge and sometimes without a warrant.”
Comment: Is this the United States or Nazi Germany? Warrantless searches violate the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution (part of the Bill of Rights) that “guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.” Warrantless searches were constitutionally prohibited because “in the Thirteen Colonies, agents of the British Empire conducted warrantless searches on homes of colonists, which was viewed as an abuse of power”—which it clearly is. If the government is snooping on us, it makes it easy for them to specifically target their political enemies. Big Brother is taking another step toward tyranny. Our freedom is slipping away because almost no one resists its incremental erosion.
- Now Big Brother is REALLY watching you
- Free press not-so-free in America
- Likely tax cheats flock South, West
- Almost half of new vets seek disability
- Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?
- National Suicide: How Washington Is Destroying the American Dream from A to Z
- That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back
- Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power
- Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History
- The Road to Serfdom
- The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America
- Time magazine: 150 Years After Fort Sumter: Why We're Still Fighting the Civil War
- The Short American Century: A Postmortem
- Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History
- Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
- Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores
- OK to sell widow's home over $6 bill, judge rules
Comment: In a similar case, an elderly woman lost her home so the greedy government could collect a paltry tax bill (if I remember correctly, it was about $100, and the government sold her home and kept all the money for themselves, not just the $100).
- Alaskan town home to airport with no planes and harbor with no road
Comment: The Army Corps of Engineers built the harbor “using $29 million in federal stimulus money.”
- Next Great Depression? MIT researchers predict ‘global economic collapse’ by 2030
- Emotion Detector Enables Design of Tailor-Made Election Campaigns
Comment: This isn't needed. Politicians have been successfully reading and exploiting voters' emotions for many years. Our nation is ruled more by emotion than intellect. For proof, just look at the insanity around you, and look at the clowns we elect to lead us.
- U.S. Presidential Candidates Could Get Medieval With 'Indirect Aggression' Debate Tactics
Comment: It's too bad that politicians with silver tongues and debating skills can't figure out how to solve any of our problems.
- The More We Know About Celebrities, the Less We Like Them
Comment: The same is true of politicians. Once we see past their carefully crafted veneers, it's obvious that most are not only more flawed than we are, they're also lacking substantive attributes and achievements that warrant respect. Buy hey, they sound good, so dumb voters, keep on electing 'em!
- Calls to toughen regulation follow JPMorgan loss
Excerpt: “… big banks still do not understand the threats posed by their own speculation.”
Comment: In 2012, they still don't get it!
- U.S. poverty climbs to historic levels: A woman who grew up jetting to Hawaii every year now juggles local aid forms
- How a Former Currency Strategist Went from $150K/Year to Serving Lattes at Starbucks
- Where Have All the ‘Good’ Jobs Gone?
- 1 in 2 new graduates are jobless or underemployed
- Underemployment Persists Since Recession, With Youngest Workers Hardest Hit
- No Improvement in Job Market for Young College Grads, Some Deterioration, New Report Reveals
- A record 21.6 million millennials live with parents
- An example of something that could have seriously damaged the U.S. economy or even precipitated its collapse: Record $6 Trillion of Fake U.S. Bonds Seized. Don't be sanguine just because we caught that disaster in time; our system is inherently vulnerable.
- Retirement in America Is ‘Endangered’
- Family Net Worth Drops to Level of Early ’90s, Fed Says
- The American Dream Shrinks: Avg. Net Worth Falls 40% From 2007-2010
- Going hungry in America: ‘Distressing,’ ‘humbling’ and ‘scary’
- The New Poor of Fresno
- Celebrities who have faced foreclosure
- Crowd Favorite on American Idol Calls Tent ‘Home’
- Slab City: Living Off the Grid in California's Badlands
- After Foreclosure: A Photographer's Requiem for the American Home
- The Tale of a Lost Mortgage
- Goodbye, Middle Class
- Middle class set back over last decade: report
Excerpt: “The middle class has shrunk drastically over the last 10 years as Americans' net worth has plunged, wages declined and standards of living slipped away.”
Comment: And it will keep on slippin' …
- An Inside Look at the Middle-Class Squeeze
- From six figures to $15,000
- Majority of New Jobs Pay Low Wages, Study Finds
- One bedroom for a family of five
- Americans: Too broke to go bankrupt
- America's new poor
- Even after bankruptcy, trapped by student debt
- An uneasy economy, and those living through it
- 10 dates that won’t cost a dime
Comment: Great advice for people living in an increasingly impoverished country!
- Community cash: In each other we trust and How I buy groceries without cash
Comment: Fed up with Federal Reserve dollars, people are turning to other forms of monetary exchange. This isn't as odd as it may seem when you realize that the Federal Reserve is a private financial institution (also see Is the Federal Reserve System a Governmental or a Privately controlled organization? and A Phone Call To The Fed). This reminds me of something Henry Ford said: “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” Incidentally, some people dispute the accuracy of this quote but it is consistent with Ford's view (as exemplified by his documented quote near the top of this page) that most people are screwed by a small number of über-rich ones.
- America's Most Miserable Cities, 2012
- U.S. Municipalities that Went Bankrupt
- Americans brace for next foreclosure wave
- 10 Middle-Class Jobs That Will Vanish by 2018
- Scranton mayor slashes pay for all city workers—including police and firefighters—to minimum wage
- Stockton could become biggest city to go bankrupt
- Mammoth Lakes, famous California ski town, files for bankruptcy
Comment: A ski town filing for bankruptcy is like a doctor filing for bankruptcy—and, yes, that's happening, too. When almost sure bets for success are failing, it is very alarming.
- Why Men Are Failing in This New Economy
- Book: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition
- Real estate tourism: Who's really buying America's homes?
Hint: It's not Americans!
- Tough times for U.S. butlers
Comment: They complain they can't do it all, or all well, but millions of wives have been doing it for decades.
- Utah Husband Posts Video of Wife Stumped by MPH Math
- Speech by members of Congress drops a grade level due to conservatives and new members, according to study
- NSA Domestic Spying Continues Under Obama (that is, Obama didn't start it; Bush did, thus proving that the political affiliation of Presidents has no bearing on their respect for our Constitutional rights)
- 4 high-tech ways the federal government is spying on private citizens (and wasting our money. It is utterly obvious who the real threats are, so why spy on Main Street folks whose biggest crime is going 15 mph over the speed limit? If they're concerned about protecting the President from threats, why doesn't he stay in the White House instead of
- Judge Andrew Napolitano: Is the CIA already in your kitchen?
- 19 Signs That America Has Become A Crazy Control Freak Nation Where Almost Everything Is Illegal
- The Gibson Guitar raid: Yet another shocking example of how our federal government lacks common sense, using its limited law enforcement resources to hassle a legitimate business while women and children are raped and murdered.
- Zakaria: Incarceration nation Excerpt: “There are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America—more than 6 million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.”
- Systematic Incarceration of African American Males Is a Wrong, Costly Path
- If the control freaks who control us could think, this problem would be eliminated: Length of Yellow Caution Traffic Lights Could Prevent Accidents, Researchers Say based on Novel Stochastic Procedure for Designing Yellow Intervals at Signalized Intersections
- High school students suspended for possession of energy mints
- City of Detroit is paying $65,000 for a 2004 Dodge Intrepid that it doesn't even own
- Detroit named most miserable U.S. city in Forbes ranking (a commenter said, “This is what happens when the parasites chase away their host.”)
- Gov. Rick Snyder says people already have turned down possible job to fix Detroit's finances
- Ex-Detroit mayor convicted, jailed until sentence
Excerpt: Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted “on corruption charges [in a] trial that exposed a brazen pay-to-play culture during his years in office while the distressed city lost jobs and people and veered toward insolvency. … U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said, "Kwame Kilpatrick didn't lead the city. He looted the city."”
- California facing higher $16 billion shortfall
Excerpt: “… much larger than had been predicted just months ago …”
- Farrakhan son is part-time Harvey cop but hasn't worked a shift in 4 years
- Why Is Farrakhan's Cop Son Driving a Taxpayer-Funded Police Car and Carrying a Gun When He Hasn't Worked a Shift in 4+ Years?
- Population Aging Will Have Long-Term Implications for Economy
- Great Recession's other legacy: Inconsistent work hours
- California Man Commits Suicide Before Foreclosure
- Debt Collection Horror Stories
- Excessive regulations turning scientists into bureaucrats
- Why Peace (book by Marc Guttman)
- Zimbabwe Is Down to Its Last $217
- British Living Standards Tighten as Cost of Living Soars by 25 Percent
Comment: Common denominator: Big government, big problems.
- Ind. Officer, Wife Could Face Jail for Saving Deer
Comment: Another example of an arrogant government bereft of common sense wasting taxpayers' money.
- Fla. Cops Fired for Allegedly Ignoring Dispatch Calls
- A report showing that GSA spent a fortune buying presents and exorbitantly overpriced food for its employees.